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December 31, 2005
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English spelling is a PEST!
cake, brake, break, steak, stake, take, lake
weak, week, leek, leak, shriek,
.. there are LOTS more, I'm afraid!!
I apologise for the fact that my language is not written / spelt phonetically (unlike so many others - German, Portuguese, Spanish...!!)
Best wishes! Happy New Year!
live vs. living
In short: -ing forms are temporary, at-a-point-in-time things:He's eating (right NOW. Can you call back when the meal is over?)We were waiting (THEN the bus came)She's been living here (for five years. She MIGHT continue...)He had been working (as a waiter WHEN he was discoveed and became a pop star) etc..
The concept / intention / context will help a lot:I'm living here (but don't expect to stay here very long)I live here (this is my home. Who knows if I'll ever move?... OR... I'll have to go back to my home country at some point, though)
Why bother with rules if you're teaching? Sometimes they confuse the students more than they help!
Write two lists according to pronunciation (appropriate to your students' level and needs) and practise them.You could mix them up and make a sorting game of it all.
(In certain classes (or with certain L1 students), you might want to link this to a pronunciation exercise focussing on 'voiced' and 'voiceless' consonants - e.g. dock, dog; ferry, very; wash, watch, etc..)
Enjoy your teaching!!
There are many similar (collective) nouns, e.g. police, audience, congregation.If you're thinking of the couple as a UNIT, then IS. If you're thinking of them as two INDIVIDUALS, then ARE (native speakers are very confused about this anyway!! Just to throw some sand into people's eyes, what about "Everybody's here, AREN'T THEY?" - and somebody, nobody, anybody... plus the trouble we have with "somebody's left THEIR / HIS / HER books behind...)Happy New Year!
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